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O. POSSUM GETS SICK
When Tom Wildcat smiled and spoke about having all those nice vegetables for dinner, Doctor Rabbit knew well enough that he didn’t ever eat any such things. No, sir; all Tom Wildcat wanted was Doctor Rabbit. But Doctor Rabbit was just as cunning as was Tom, so he said, “It’s very kind of you to invite me over to dinner, Friend Tom, very kind, I am sure; but the fact is, I won’t have time. I really am too busy.”

“A good deal of sickness in the Woods, I suppose,” Tom Wildcat said, as pleasantly as could be.

“Yes, quite a good deal,” said Doctor Rabbit; “especially a good many accidents, lately.”

Tom Wildcat was so angry for a minute[Pg 39] that he almost forgot to smile. He knew what Doctor Rabbit meant by accidents. He meant Tom’s getting his foot bitten by Farmer Roe’s big dog, and his falling into that hole. But by very hard work, crafty Tom did manage to keep on smiling as he said, “Well, I shall have to be going on, then. Possibly you can come over some other time and take dinner with me. Good morning, Doctor Rabbit!” And Tom Wildcat trotted off.

When he had disappeared, Doctor Rabbit sat down in his big chair and laughed and laughed. It would have made anybody laugh to see how hard it had been for Tom Wildcat to smile when Doctor Rabbit spoke about so many accidents lately.

There was a great deal of excitement among the little creatures of the Big Green Woods now. It was bad enough[Pg 40] to know that Tom Wildcat had come over from his hollow tree near the Deep River, but it was worse still to think that he had fallen into that hole and climbed out again.

Of course, they all had to go right on eating, because nobody can live without eating. And there was where the little creatures were in great danger. They were generally hunting something to eat, and there was always someone like Tom Wildcat watching for them, ready to pounce upon them.

The next day Doctor Rabbit was called to see O. Possum, who was sick. Mandy Possum came over in a great hurry and said O. Possum was having a severe pain in his stomach. Doctor Rabbit got his medicine case and went over to the Possums’ house with Mandy Possum as fast as he could.

[Pg 41]Mandy said they would go in the nearest way, which was through the kitchen. She asked Doctor Rabbit to excuse her kitchen, as she had not had time to clean it up. Then as they went through the parlor, she told him to excuse that too, as she hadn’t had time to clean that up. As they passed through two other rooms, she said to excuse them; she knew they were pretty dirty, but she had not had time to clean them up. But Doctor Rabbit didn’t say anything, because no matter what time of day he came to Mandy Possum’s house, she always asked him to excuse the dirt, and always said she hadn’t had time to clean it up. Man doctors sometimes find it that way, too.

Well, they finally came to O. Possum, who was off in a corner bedroom. He lay in bed with some turpentine and a[Pg 42] hot stove lid on his stomach. He began to groan terribly when Doctor Rabbit came in. “Oh my, oh my,” he groaned, “I know I’m going to die! Yes, I can feel it, and my wife wants me to die; she’s got turpentine and a hot stove lid on my stomach, and I’m roasting alive. Oh dear! Oh dear!”


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